HOOD AND ARIZONA BEVERAGE COMPANY GET OFF TO A “FRESH” START

@@img1June 2005 (Chelsea, Mass.) – New England-based dairy processor HP Hood LLC recently announced it has entered into a licensing partnership with AriZona Beverage Company, the country’s leading selling all natural ready-to-drink iced teas. Hood has been granted an exclusive license to manufacture and market a brand-new line of 16-ounce single-serve AriZona Fresh Choice ready-to-drink iced teas. These products are available now throughout the Central and Eastern United States.

Introduced in 1992, today AriZona is the largest brand of ready-to-drink iced teas among total U.S. Food, Drug and Mass Merchandisers.* Moreover, AriZona turned in a spectacular growth rate for the same 12 month period of over 48%, while all other leading brands showed declines in volume. These results clearly show AriZona’s unmatched expertise in response to today’s consumers’ demand for great tasting, “better-for-you” beverages. AriZona Fresh Choice premium products offer consumers the highest quality. AriZona Lemon Iced Tea and AriZona Green Tea with ginseng and honey are sweetened with pure cane sugar versus high fructose corn syrup; and AriZona Diet Green Tea with ginseng is sweetened with Splenda. AriZona’s fresh date code packaging is another example of AriZona’s marketing leadership in the beverage industry.

According to Jim Walsh, Executive Vice President of Sales for HP Hood, there are many opportunities that will arise from the Hood-AriZona partnership. “AriZona is a leader in their category, but distribution is still underdeveloped within convenience store and gas station channels. This presents Hood with some great opportunities to increase sales of the new Fresh Choice single-serve, grab-and-go products,” he said. Hood’s sales efforts will focus on the Central and Eastern United States, with future expansion to additional markets.

The new Fresh Choice line provides consumers with three refreshing iced tea options: Lemon, Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, and Diet Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey. All of these varieties are made with premium, all-natural teas. AriZona has garnered international awards and accolades for its eye-catching packaging designs, and the Fresh Choice single-serve packages live up to this reputation. The ergonomic, resealable plastic bottles feature unique artistic graphic designs that make a statement on-shelf, appealing to consumers looking for a lightweight, portable package.

As part of the licensing agreement, Hood also took over national manufacturing, distribution and sales for AriZona’s 64-ounce half-gallon gable-top package. The line includes four popular flavors: Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, Mandarin Orange Green Tea, No Carb Peach Green Tea, and Iced Tea with Lemon. These ESL products are offered in gable-top half-gallon containers with resealable pour spout.

Please contact Hood Customer Service for more information at (800) 662-4468.

About HP Hood LLC
Founded in 1846, today Hood is one of the largest branded dairy operators in the United States. In 2004, HP Hood became HP Hood LLC when it acquired Binghamton, New York-based Crowley Foods and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Kemps, LLC, adding to Hood’s portfolio of well-known national and super regional brands, as well as processing and distribution operations. For more information about Hood, please visit www.Hood.com or contact:
Lynne Bohan
HP Hood LLC
(617) 887-8321
Lynne.Bohan@hphood.com

*Source IRI 52 Weeks ending 1/23/05